Last spring, we dug into the state of metro roads, highways, sewers and public transportation in a project called Public Works? The Cost of Our Aging Infrastructure.
We’ve continued to follow the topics to see if anything has changed in a year’s time. Our weekly public affairs shows, Ruckus and Week in Review, track progress — and setbacks — across our metro, and we’ve gathered those updates here for you.
As Kansas City voters went to the polls for a ballot measure to extend the streetcar to the Plaza and UMKC campus, KCPT’s Week in Review host, Nick Haines, asks local reporters about the likelihood of approval. If it does pass, he asked the panel, what will federal funding look like and what further hoops will need to be jumped through?
After Kansas Citians voted to extend the streetcar line to the Plaza and the UMKC campus, Haines sat down with area reporters to discuss whether Kansas City can obtain the necessary federal funding and about the confusion caused by mail-in ballots.
After voters approved the building of a new airport to replace the outdated KCI, the cost has gone up. Haines talks to the reporter roundtable about the concern over whether taxpayers, who were assured they wouldn’t be on the hook for a penny, will have to pick up any of the cost. The reporters call for more transparency from developer Edgemoor, as the groundbreaking is delayed a year.
Eric Bunch, co-founder and policy director of BikeWalkKC, talks to Ruckus’ Mike Shanin about his company’s initiatives to ensure the metro is a more bikeable, walkable place. That means taking into account the accessibility of public transit and the need for swift street repairs for bikers.
“A smart city allows 21st century citizens to take advantage of a city that uses 21st century tools,” Bob Bennett, Kansas City, Missouri’s Chief Innovation Officer told Shanin. Things like alerting streetcar riders to inclement weather and directing them to a safe place, giving restaurant recommendations and preparing for potholes month before they appear are all possible in our smart city.
Kansas City Water Director Terry Leeds talks to Ruckus’ Shanin about the causes for increasing water rates. A combined aging sewer system means Kansas Citians can expect their rates to continue to climb. Leeds elaborated on an issue Flatland reported on last year — unaccounted for water, or “ghost water,” which he says can be attributed to leaks, metering inefficiencies or a plethora of other issues.
Kansas City PBS and its digital magazine, Flatland, are gathering in-depth reporting and engagement around affordable housing in the metro. Find resources, ways to get involved, and more in-depth reporting at our project main page, Public Works? A Level Foundation.